Happy Birthday, Rio de Janeiro! The city ranks high up on my short list of favorite birthdays and March 1st marks its 455th.
by Scot Adams
The city was officially founded at the foot of the Sugarloaf Mountain in 1565 by Estácio de Sá, a Portuguese knight who named it after Portugal’s King Sebastian I by proclaiming the city as São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro (Saint Sebastian of the river of January).
Caetano’s song for the city
São Sebastião doesn’t have quite the same ring as “Rio”, but it resonates with Caetano Veloso’s impromptu version of Rio’s official song, ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’.
Listen Live: At least one ‘Rio’ song every hour on The Sunday Brazilian Brunch today, Click to listen beginning at 5 am, 9 am, 2 pm and 8 pm CT.
Yes, there will be cake
…and plenty of leftovers from Carnival week, with hundreds of thousands doing their best to relax, recharge and recover from the hard work and long hours required for a true-blooded sambista, even if she is from Lincoln, Nebraska.
Locals and tourists can join in the celebration with a 66-foot-long cake and a jubilant chorus of “happy birthday, Rio de Janeiro”!
It’s part of the city’s official party organized by SARCA, the Sociedade Amigos da Rua da Carioca e Adjacências. Head over to Largo do Carioca, a great starting point for a walking tour of Rio’s Centro district.
The party is a local tradition that goes back nearly 40 years.
Celebrate with us
The Sounds of Brazil’s streaming station at Connectbrazil.com will play at least one ‘Rio’ song every hour during The Sunday Brazilian Brunch today (5 am, 9 am, 2 pm and 8 pm CT for three full hours). You’ll find the PLAY button on our home page.
Or, just deep dive with three of our 12 streaming channels: Cafe Copacabana, All Jobim or BossaNovaville. Always free. Happy birthday, Rio de Janeiro!